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The Craft of Ritual Studies$
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Ronald L. Grimes

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780195301427

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195301427.001.0001

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Performing Research and Teaching

Performing Research and Teaching

(p.10) (p.11) 1 Performing Research and Teaching
The Craft of Ritual Studies

Ronald L. Grimes

Oxford University Press

Method, case, and theory are parts of a dynamic whole. Interacting, they constitute research. When we examine a case with an eye to the practices that produced it, we have begun to extract its method. When we employ a method, a theory is implied. When we put a theory to work on a case, a method is required. A method determines how rituals are or ought to be studied. Whereas a case tracks a specific ritual as practiced, a theory speaks of ritual in general—its forms, elements, and dynamics. This threefold process is not only argumentative, employing strategies of induction or deduction, it is also narrative and performative. Since the stories scholars tell are performed in ways that are stylized, formalized, and prescribed, the practice of ritual and the study of it are relatives, not polar opposites.

Keywords:   research trajectories, research narratives, John Bourke, Ronald Grimes

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